Lannan Foundation is a family foundation dedicated to cultural freedom, diversity and creativity through projects which support exceptional contemporary artists and writers, as well as inspired Native activists in rural indigenous communities. This site is for our audio and video podcasts.
Recorded at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico on October 24, 2018.
David Harvey, a Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Geography at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, has taught Karl Marx’s Capital and its contemporary application to students and members of the public for 40 years. “Once you can hang a price tag on something,” he argues, “you can in principle put a price tag on anything, including conscience and honor, to say nothing of body parts and children.
His most recent book is Marx, Capital, and the Madness of Economic Reason (2017), and his A Brief History of Neoliberalism (2005) is considered a primer on that critical topic across academic fields. He is the author of 27 other books. Harvey is responsible for transforming urban geography into a cutting-edge field that attracts leading scholars who ask big questions and study interconnected systems of power. Having received his PhD from the University of Cambridge, he is a fellow in the British Academy and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Recorded at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico on October 11, 2018.
The Reverend William Barber, pastor at Greenleaf Christian Church and president of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, led the Moral Mondays movement of weekly protests and civil disobedience against the discriminatory and conservative policies of North Carolina governor Pat McCrory, and against the celebrations of Confederate history that still plague the South.
Barber recently helped organize the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. Standing on the shoulders of the Poor People’s Campaign organized by Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, the program involved 40 days of direct action for racial, economic, gender, and environmental justice in 2018. Economic inequality in the United States has reached record levels. The actions of the federal government and local police officials have laid bare the legacy of racial terror and family separation that the country was built on. The Reverend Barber’s movement addresses the root causes of these interrelated issues.
Barber is the author of The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of a New Justice Movement (2016) and two other books. He also founded the organization Repairers of the Breach. His guiding principle is that “fusion coalitions rooted in moral dissent have power to transform our world from the grassroots up.” Cornel West says, “William Barber is the closest person we have to Martin Luther King Jr. in our midst.”
Recorded at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico on September 26, 2018.
Nikhil Pal Singh is an associate professor of social and cultural analysis and history at New York University and the founding faculty director of the NYU Prison Education Program. He is the author of Race and America’s Long War (2017), in which, historian Robin Kelley argues, “Singh obliterates any myth of American peace, revealing instead that the thread tying America’s past and present is long and continuous war—hot, vicious, global, and racial.”
Singh’s work helps us understand the historical sweep of racist ideology that brought us to the election of Donald Trump in 2016 and shows the connection between the election and US military defeats abroad. He writes, “Marred by military atrocities, torture scandals, fiscal waste, toxic exposure, popular opposition, and public disgust, the US invasion of Iraq induced a regional death spiral and inspired new terrorist networks of the kind that the war was ostensibly fought to vanquish.”
This was a Readings and Conversations event.
You may learn more about this event on the Lannan website; you may also watch the videos of this and other events there. Photos from this event are available on Flickr.
Recorded at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico on May 2, 2018.
Clive Hamilton is an Australian author, public intellectual, and professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University in Australia.
He received his PhD from the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom. He is the founder and former executive director of the Australia Institute, a progressive think tank. He has held visiting academic positions at Yale University, the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, University College London, and Sciences Po in Paris.
Hamilton has published on a wide range of subjects. Among his early works are Growth Fetish, Affluenza (with Richard Denniss), and Silencing Dissent. His most recent books include The Freedom Paradox: Towards a Post-Secular Ethics,Requiem for a Species: Why We Resist the Truth about Climate Change, and the recently published Defiant Earth: The Fate of Humans in the Anthropocene.
This was an In Pursuit of Cultural Freedom event.
In this episode, Clive Hamilton talked about his work, then joined Lisa Sideris in conversation.
You may learn more about this event on the Lannan website; you may also watch the videos of this event there. Photos from this event are available on Flickr.
Recorded at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico on April 18, 2018.
Rachel Kushner’s first novel, Telex from Cuba, is set in Oriente, Cuba, in an expat community funded by the United Fruit Company and a nickel mine, during the years leading up to Castro’s revolution. Of the book, the New York Times wrote, “Out of tropical rot, Kushner has fashioned a story that will linger like a whiff of decadent Colony perfume.”
Her second novel, The Flamethrowers, is set mostly in the mid-1970s and follows the life of Reno, so named for her place of birth, a young artist who comes to New York intent on marrying her love of motorcycles, speed, and art. The title takes its name from weapons used by the Italian Arditi, a division of elite shock troops that operated during the First World War.
Kushner has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award and is a Guggenheim Fellow. Her fiction and essays appear regularly in the New York Times, the Paris Review, The Believer, Artforum, Bookforum, Fence, Bomb, and Grand Street.
This was a Readings and Conversations event.
You may learn more about this event on the Lannan website; you may also listen to the audio recording / watch the videos of this event there. Photos from this event are available on Flickr.
Recorded at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico on April 11, 2018.
Diane Ravitch is the nation’s leading advocate for public education. She is a historian of education, an educational policy analyst, and a research professor at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.
She is the author of numerous books on American education, including The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education. Her most recent book is Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools.
Ravitch is the Founder and President of the Network for Public Education (NPE), whose mission is to preserve, promote, improve and strengthen public schools for both current and future generations of students.
Recorded at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico on March 14, 2018.
Roxane Gay is an author and cultural critic. Her works include the story collection Difficult Women and Ayiti, a blend of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry interwoven into a tale of the Haitian diaspora. In her essay collection Bad Feminist, she writes, “I never want to be placed on a Feminist Pedestal. People who are placed on pedestals are expected to pose, perfectly. Then they get knocked off. . . . Consider me already knocked off.”
Gay’s most recent book is Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. The New York Times writes, “At its simplest, it’s a memoir about being fat — Gay’s preferred term — in a hostile, fat-phobic world. At its most symphonic, it’s an intellectually rigorous and deeply moving exploration of the ways in which trauma, stories, desire, language and metaphor shape our experiences and construct our reality.”
Gay is the author of the comic series World of Wakanda and is the first African American woman to write for Marvel Comics. She is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times.
Recorded at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico on March 7, 2018.
Nancy MacLean is an award-winning scholar of twentieth-century US history. She is the William H. Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University and author of Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America (2017). It was a finalist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction and has received a Lannan Cultural Freedom Award for An Especially Notable Book.
MacLean has written four other books, including Freedom Is Not Enough: The Opening of the American Workplace and Behind the Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second Ku Klux Klan. Her articles and review essays have appeared in numerous publications, including American Quarterly, Boston Review, In These Times, International Labor and Working Class History, Journal of American History, Journal of Women’s History, Law and History Review, and The Nation.
Her scholarship has received more than a dozen prizes and awards and has been supported by fellowships from, among other organizations, the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowships Foundation. In 2010 she was elected a fellow of the Society of American Historians, which recognizes literary distinction in the writing of history and biography.
Recorded at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico on February 28, 2018.
Aleksandar Hemon’s books include the novels The Making of Zombie Wars and Nowhere Man, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the story collections The Question of Bruno and Love and Obstacles. Born in Sarajevo in the former Yugoslavia in 1964, Hemon was visiting Chicago as a tourist in 1992 when the Bosnian War broke out. Unable to return home, he eventually settled permanently in Chicago.
Having arrived with only a basic command of English, Hemon learned the language by reading the novels of Vladimir Nabokov; he published his first story in English in 1995. The New Yorker described him as having an “astonishing talent to notice the world with a sarcastic, wily precision that is then put in tension with his love of surreal metaphor.”
Hemon’s writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, and the New York Times, with more recent work addressing issues of immigration and the Trump administration. In a piece entitled “When Neighbors Turn on Each Other, It Happens Fast,” he writes, “Nevertheless, the question remains what happens to that sense of ethical stability when there is a societal rupture, when the infrastructure that allows for essentialist individualism is damaged and destroyed?” Hemon was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2003 and received a MacArthur “genius grant” the following year. He lives in Chicago with his family.
Recorded at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico on January 31, 2018.
Colum McCann is the author of six novels and three collections of stories, including Let the Great World Spin, TransAtlantic, and Thirteen Ways of Looking. In a 2013 interview the author said, “I believe in the democracy of storytelling. That stories can cross all sorts of borders and boundaries. I don’t know of a greater privilege than being allowed to tell a story or to listen to a story.”
McCann’s books cover a wide range of topics, including The Troubles in Northern Ireland, the life of Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev, the first attempted nonstop flight across the Atlantic in 1919, New York of the 1970s, and the tightrope walker who crossed the gap between the Twin Towers. Born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1965, McCann crossed the United States on a bicycle in the 1980s, describing the trip as being “simply to expand my lungs emotionally.”
He is the recipient of several honors, among them the National Book Award, the International DUBLIN Literary Award, and designation as a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres. In 2012 McCann cofounded the nonprofit global story-exchange organization Narrative 4, whose mission is to use storytelling to inspire “fearless hope through radical empathy.” McCann lives in New York with his family and teaches creative writing in the MFA program at Hunter College.